Multiple new sources are running a story about a millionaire’s wife who has been fighting for years to get her prenuptial agreement invalidated. The sources track back to an article in the New York Post, entiitled Millionaire’s wife gets judge to toss prenup.
The beautiful wife of a millionaire Long Island real-estate mogul got a judge to rip up her prenup — a rare, precedent-setting decision that could influence countless marriages to wealthy people.
Ashley Lutz of the Business Insider reports that an appelate court in Brooklyn New York has affirmed that a real estate mogul’s wife doesn’t have to abide by the prenuptial agreement she signed days before the wedding.
Elizabeth Petrakis said her ex, Peter, made her sign a prenup four days before their 1998 wedding, reported Kieran Crowley at The New York Post. He has a real estate empire worth about $20 million.
Elizabeth claimed that Peter told her that he’d rip up the prenup as soon as they had kids, but didn’t. The couple has three children.
When the couple separated seven years ago, Elizabeth began fighting to have the prenup revoked.
On February 20, a Brooklyn Appellate Court panel unanimously sided with Elizabeth, and said that Peter “fraudulently induced” her to sign the prenup, the Post reported.
The couple is now beginning divorce proceedings. Elizabeth’s lawyer says the court’s decision to invalidate the prenup based on a verbal agreement is unprecedented.
In a landmark case, Elizabeth Cioffi-Petrakis, 39, won an appeal overturning a bizarre premarital agreement with her millionaire husband. Now she says she may be entitled to half of her ex’s worth when their divorce becomes final.
How bizarre was this prenup? Jill Reilly of the Daily Mail writes that the prenup stipulated he would keep everything in his name if they split. How bizarre!
To win the case, Cioffi-Petrakis had to prove in a Long Island court that her husband, commercial property developer Peter Petrakis, coerced her into signing the prenup. She claims he dropped the premarital bomb four days before their wedding day in 1998, leaving her with little time for a contractual dispute. She also told the court the agreement included promises her ex never intended to keep. Among those promises, she said, was that he would add her name to the deed of their Old Brookville home, and that he would destroy the prenup after the birth of their first child.
“He claimed he was just protecting his business, and that his lawyers made him have a prenup,” Cioffi-Petrakis said. “And me, a naïve young girl, I believed it.”
But when he did not put the house in her name, and when she first gave birth 12 years ago to twin boys (and then later to a daughter, now 8), the two began what would be come a years-long journey in and out of lawyers’ offices to contest the prenuptial agreement.
Then finally, in January, a judge ruled in Cioffi-Petrakis’s favor, finding that she had successfully proven what is called “fraud by the inducement” in a contract. To do that, Cioffi-Petrakis explained, she presented the court with “patterns of behavior” to show that Petrakis “was not honest when he made the promises.”
…a victim to the tune of $10 million. Who is robbing whom?
Fraud by inducement is defined as
the use of deceit or trick to cause someone to act to his/her disadvantage, such as signing an agreement or deeding away real property. The heart of this type of fraud is misleading the other party as to the facts upon which he/she will base his/her decision to act. Example: “there will be tax advantages to you if you let me take title to your property,” or “you don’t have to read the rest of the contract–it is just routine legal language” but actually includes a balloon payment.
So it was invalidated because the verbal promise to annul the agreement constituted trickery on his part?